Sometimes after cataract surgery, the back or posterior part of the lens capsule, or lens covering, becomes cloudy or opacified. This cloudiness is usually caused by cells growing onto the back of the capsule, causing blurred vision, glare or light sensitivity. Although not a true cataract, it is often referred to as a “secondary cataract.”
In a cataract operation, the cloudy lens from your eye (the cataract) is replaced with an artificial lens. In about 10% of cataract surgery patients, the thin membrane behind the lens (called the posterior capsule) can become hazy. This causes blurred vision, much like a cataract, which is why posterior capsule opacity is often called a ‘secondary cataract’.
To treat this posterior capsule opacification, doctors use a type of laser called a Yag laser to make a hole in the back of the capsule to clear away the cloudines so that light may pass freely to the back of the eye.
YAG laser posterior capsulotomy is an outpatient procedure that does not require anesthesia. In most cases, a Yag laser posterior capsulotomy will restore vision back to normal.